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POLSC232 American Government

Published : 30-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10

Question:

If you had to help someone spot “fake news,what would you tell them?
 
Choose a news article from a reputable media outlet and compare it to an online story that you know is fake. Using the checklist provided on the factcheck web site, compare the two. Although fake news is not new, it seems harder to distinguish and more accepted now. Why?
 
How will this acceptance of fake news impact our democracy?

Answer:

In this digital era, online fake news has become very common. Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites have started publishing misleading or false news. Fake news stories reach people more quickly than real news. Such stories are satirical and tend to provide the readers with more fun and entertainment. The effort is to fool the readers and hide the truth from them. There are several strategies one can save himself/herself from fake news. Firstly, while observing a news one should check and cross check the sources. The source must be legitimate, authentic and reliable (Hunt).

Secondly, one should read beyond the headline of the news. Fake stories tend to have various revealing signs in the texts. Thirdly, checking the author of the story is most important. In most of the fake news cases, the authors are not even real. Fourthly, checking the sources may reveal the fact whether the news is real or not. Moreover, checking the date is important as most of the fake stories are not fully unreal; rather it distorts the reality.  Fake news is mostly one sided and biased towards a particular individual or scenario (Youtube.com).

The crisis which involved the famous aerated drink, Pepsi marred its image to a huge extent. There was no authentic source of the report. There was a rumor that a syringe was found in the Pepsi bottles. The news circulated online in a huge manner and fifty reports were published tampering Diet Pepsi, which turned into a hoax. Later the company provided reports, conveying that the whole story was unreal and fabricated (Snopes.com). Firstly, fake news has no authentic sources and author. It was totally framed in order to fool the readers and mar the image of the company. Secondly, social media stories become viral easily and the readers without thinking believe in those. Thirdly, fake news is more accepted in modern days, as readers find it more interesting and entertaining (Amber and Thompson).

Fake news impact the democracy in a huge way. It can affect the democracy by changing people’s opinions and views. Mostly, fake political news appears during the time of election. It is to change the people’s decision to vote a political leader. Fake news affects the system as people’s decision might change and they may end up voting the wrong person. It is to be kept in mind that a wrong decision can change a person’s life or even the whole country’s future in a huge way (Rubin, Chen and Conroy). Therefore, it is high time for the readers to start thinking before believing or taking actions.

References

Day, Amber, and Ethan Thompson. "Live from New York, it's the fake news! Saturday Night Live and the (non) politics of parody." Popular Communication 10.1-2 (2012): 170-182.

Hunt, Elle. "What is fake news? How to spot it and what you can do to stop it." The Guardian 18 (2016).

Rubin, Victoria L., Yimin Chen, and Niall J. Conroy. "Deception detection for news: three types of fakes." Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology 52.1 (2015): 1-4.

Snopes.com. "Needle In Pepsi." Snopes.Com, 2017, https://www.snopes.com/horrors/food/syringe.asp.

Youtube.com. "How To Spot Fake News - Factcheck.Org." Youtube, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkwWcHekMdo.

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